GHANA once again stood tall in the best student rankings for the 2022 West Africa Senior School Certificate Exam (WASSCE) among the five participating countries.
Two senior high school (SHS) graduates who participated in the 2022 WASSCE outshone their counterparts to clinch the first and second positions in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) International Excellence Award held in the Gambian capital, Banjul.
Alex Opoku Manu and Benjamin Eyram Nana Kwame Degbey respectively from the St James Seminary SHS in the Bono Region, beat their Nigerian counterpart, Ogidigbo Chioma Blessing, who settled for the third place.
The three received the WAEC Endowment Fund Award. For placing first, Mr Manu received $1,500, while Mr Degbey took away $1,200 for his effort of placing second. Blessing also took home $900 for placing third.
Mr Manu also received the Augustus Bamidele Oyediran prize for emerging as the Overall Best candidate for the examination for 2022.
The two have been pencilled to pick the first two of the three top National Distinction Excellence Award prizes as best students in the WASSCE in June later this year.
Currently, Mr Manu is studying medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, while Mr Degbey is also studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the Academic City in Accra.
At the award ceremony held during the 71st Annual Council Meeting of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the students were honoured for their remarkable performance out of the five countries that took the examination.
Ghana’s delegation, made up of council members of the WAEC, was led by the Chief Government nominee, who is also the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Dr Eric Nkansah, the Head of National Office (HNO), Wendy Enyonam Addy-Lamptey, and all the other members.
Briefing the Daily Graphic after return from the ceremony, Mrs Addy-Lamptey congratulated the awardees on lifting the flag of Ghana high at such an international level.
She said the competition was keen, considering the fact that a total of 297 out of 2,276,112 candidates who sat for the WASSCE, qualified for consideration for the excellence awards.
Mrs Addy-Lamptey said Ghana had been a regular winner of the award and was confident that “next year, you can be sure to see us here again”.
“As you might be aware, we in Ghana are running a transitional calendar, since the disruption of the COVID-19. Unlike all other member countries, we are yet to return to normalcy.”
“We are hopeful that by the 2024 academic year, we would have returned to normalcy and joined the rest of the member countries to write the examination,” she stated.
On examination malpractice, Mrs Addy-Lamptey said Ghana was committed to dealing with the menace and mentioned measures being taken to include the introduction of the serialisation of examination question papers.
She said all the member countries were committed to working closely together to ensure that, “together, we break the chain of those who engage in the malpractice, especially those operating rogue websites”.
Mrs Addy-Lamptey said as part of measures to stem the practice, “we have re-inspected most of our old schools and also new schools.
“We noted that the challenge of impersonation was mostly coming from the private schools,” she observed, adding that even though most of the private schools did not have regular students, anytime it was time for registration for WASSCE, such schools registered remedial and out-of-school students as candidates.”
She further observed that the desire to cheat in the examination for such students was high and so WAEC was sanitising the registration, adding, “a good registration will lead to a good examination”.
“If we do not have a good registration and allow all these people to be brought in, surely they would want to go every length to pass the exams,” she added, disclosing that some of such schools were charging their students between GH¢4,000 and GH¢6,000.